The reason I was considering a conversion.
Just after I bought this 190e, (about 200 miles) I noticed what I thought to be a weird low frequency gear(?) noise, like the 3rd member going out. What I found was the timing chain had been moveing forward on the cam gear. At this point there are only nubs left on the gear teeth. Just before I bought the car, Norm's auto repair in San Jose did a valve job. Norm's 90-day 'guarantee' has expired, and he claims that he only did 'a valve job, the gear and chain had nothing to do with that'. I think he knows better than that, he just doesn't want to be a man and stand behind his work,(or should I say his lack of workmanship). Since I don't have a receipt for this work, (he does admit to doing it), and the seller, as far as I can tell wasn't aware of any problems, leaves me screwed.
Having said that, and considering the cost involved with that engine, a conversion looks attractive. However since I go to a university full time and try to limit my work hours to no more than 40 hours a week, I simply haven't the time to design and build everything necessary to convert it. At this point I'll probably just have the damn thing fixed unless I find a convenient cliff...
Thanks for your thoughts, Bruce.